MSRP: $15,400 - $19,800
Invoice: $15,100 - $18,860
MPG: 26 City / 36 Hwy
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2013 Kia Forte Review

While automotive writers find performance from lower Forte trims dull, they think highly of the 2013 Kia Forte for its long warranty coverage and many standard features.

The Forte is available in three trim levels, and critics tend to prefer the top SX trim, which has a more powerful 173-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. Test drivers say this trim also stands out for its sporty handling. They warn that models with this setup have a bumpy ride, and as a result, they suggest that shoppers looking for a commuter car choose one of the two lower trims. These trims come with the base four-cylinder engine and the choice between a manual and an automatic transmission. Critics say that these trims also have more comfortable rides and good fuel economy ratings of about 26/36 mpg city/highway. While the Forte has good fuel economy ratings and its performance is typical of small cars, the Forte's poor reliability score may deter some shoppers.

More than anything else, automotive journalists appreciate the Kia Forte’s versatile, practical and well-made cabin. The 2013 Forte is available in sedan, coupe and hatchback body styles, and like most models in the class, its cabin is comfortable enough for four. The Forte stands out with standard tech features such as a USB port, Bluetooth and satellite radio, as well as an optional navigation system and rearview camera.

  • "The 2013 Kia Forte is outclassed by newer competitors, but it still has a lot to offer in terms of value and style." -- Edmunds
  • "No Forte is as much fun to drive as a Ford Focus or Mazda 3 nor is it as refined as a Chevrolet Cruze or Hyundai Elantra. However, this Kia can cost less when comparable equipped. Couple that with Kia's strong warranty, and you get a solid, sporty compact car." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "This compact is more than just a piece of transportation. It will take you from point A to B in comfort and style." -- The Detroit News (2010)

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Other Cars to Consider

Like the Forte, the Chevrolet Cruze sedan comes with standard features like Bluetooth and a USB port, but it also offers more interior space. Reviewers say that the Cruze’s second-row seats are some of the most spacious in the class, and its trunk is also one of the largest. While the Cruze doesn’t have the best performance, its good safety ratings and roomy cabin help earn the Cruze a solid position in the affordable small car rankings.

Reviewers like the added versatility of the Kia Forte hatchback, but if you need as much cargo space as possible, check out the Honda Fit. Not only does the Fit have a lot more cargo room than the Forte, but it’s also a lot more utilitarian thanks to passenger seats that flip different ways to accommodate larger cargo. In addition to its impressive cargo-hauling capabilities, the Fit leads the class with high safety scores and a high reliability rating.

Compare the Forte, Cruze and Fit »

Details: 2013 Kia Forte

The 2013 Kia Forte comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe and hatchback. The sedan is available in LX, EX and SX trims, while the hatchback and coupe are only available in the EX and SX trims. The base Forte sedan has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission, but a more powerful engine, an automatic and interior features such as a navigation system are optional.

Aside from optional 16-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights and power-folding side mirrors, the Forte doesn’t receive major changes for the 2013 model year. The Forte debuted as an all-new model in 2010, so this review uses research from 2010, 2011 and 2012.

See the full list of 2013 Kia Forte specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/20/14

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